Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS6701298 B1
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 09/376,443
Publication date2 Mar 2004
Filing date18 Aug 1999
Priority date18 Aug 1999
Fee statusPaid
Publication number09376443, 376443, US 6701298 B1, US 6701298B1, US-B1-6701298, US6701298 B1, US6701298B1
InventorsJonathan Jutsen
Original AssigneeEnvinta/Energetics Group
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Computerized management system and method for energy performance evaluation and improvement
US 6701298 B1
Abstract
A system and method for energy management in which data relating to energy usage and energy-related policies and practices is collected in an automated data processing device. The data is analyzed to arrive at a diagnosis of energy management effectiveness from which recommendations for improving the energy management effectiveness are generated.
Images(3)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(18)
We claim:
1. A computerized method for diagnosing and defining actions for improvement in energy management comprising the steps of:
collecting data relating to energy usage and energy-related policies and practices in an automated data processing device;
using a defined set of characteristics for each of a plurality of levels of achievement to derive a diagnosis of energy management effectiveness, said diagnosis comprising a plurality of effectiveness elements and a level of achievement for each said effectiveness element and allowing quantification of a status of energy management practices;
determining a relative priority for taking action for each of said effectiveness elements using an element gap analysis wherein a higher priority is accorded to those effectiveness elements in which a gap between a current practice and a best practice is the largest;
determining at least one critical element for action based upon the relative priority for taking action; and
automatically generating recommendations for improving said energy management effectiveness for each of said critical elements.
2. A method in accordance with claim 1 further comprising benchmarking at least one result of the method against comparable user operations.
3. A method in accordance with claim 1 further comprising generating an estimate of potential energy savings.
4. A method in accordance with claim 1 further comprising generating an estimate of potential greenhouse gas emission reductions.
5. A method in accordance with claim 1, wherein said diagnosis and said recommendations are output to a display means.
6. A method in accordance with claim 5, wherein said display means is selected from the group consisting of a display monitor, a printer, an e-mail file and combinations thereof.
7. A method in accordance with claim 1, wherein each of said steps is repeated over time to derive an assessment of overall improvements in energy management effectiveness with time.
8. A computerized method for diagnosing and defining actions for improvement in energy management comprising the steps of:
collecting data relating to energy usage and energy-related policies and practices in an automated data processing device;
using a defined set of characteristics for each of a plurality of levels of achievement to derive a diagnosis of energy management effectiveness, said diagnosis comprising a plurality of effectiveness elements and a level of achievement for each said effectiveness element and allowing quantification of a status of energy management practices;
determining a relative priority for taking action for each of said effectiveness elements using an element gap analysis, wherein a higher priority is accorded to those effectiveness elements in which a gap between a current practice and a best practice is the largest thereby defining at least one critical element;
determining at least one critical element for action;
automatically generating recommendations for improving said energy management effectiveness for each of said critical elements;
benchmarking at least one result of the method against comparable user operations; and
determining a level of progress for each of said plurality of effectiveness elements.
9. A management system for energy performance improvement comprising:
means for collecting and storing data relating to energy usage and energy-related policies and practices;
selecting a plurality of effectiveness elements from a group of management practices including: “demonstrated corporate commitment; “planning processes”; “awareness and training”; “energy operating budgets”; “operating procedures”; “maintenance procedures”; and “processes for auditing progress”;
means for deriving a diagnosis of energy management effectiveness using said collected and stored data, wherein said means for deriving a diagnosis includes using responses to a defined set of characteristics for each of the plurality of effectiveness elements and a level of achievement reached in each of the plurality of effectiveness elements;
ranking the plurality of effectiveness elements by determining a relative priority for taking action for each of said effectiveness elements using an element gap analysis wherein a higher priority is accorded to those effectiveness elements in which a gap between a current practice and a best practice is the largest thereby defining at least one critical element; and
means for automatically deriving recommendations for improving said energy management effectiveness.
10. A system in accordance with claim 9, wherein said diagnosis comprises a plurality of effectiveness elements and a level of achievement for each of said effectiveness elements.
11. A system in accordance with claim 9 further comprising means for generating an estimate of potential energy savings.
12. A system in accordance with claim 10 further comprising means for deriving a total greenhouse gas emissions based upon said energy usage.
13. A system in accordance with claim 12 further comprising means for estimating a potential for greenhouse gas emissions reduction.
14. A system in accordance with claim 10 further comprising means for determining a level of achievement for each of said effectiveness elements.
15. A computerized method for diagnosing energy management effectiveness and defining actions for improvement in energy management comprising the steps of:
collecting data relating to energy usage and energy-related policies and practices in an automated data processing device;
presenting a set of queried actions for each of a plurality of levels of achievement for each of a plurality of effectiveness elements;
using responses to the set of queried actions for each effectiveness element to prioritize the plurality of effectiveness elements to define at least one critical element, wherein the prioritization comprises an element gap analysis of each effectiveness element so that a higher priority is accorded to those effectiveness elements in which a gap between a current practice and a best practice is the largest;
diagnosing an energy management effectiveness for each effectiveness element wherein the level of achievement is defined by a user with respect to each effectiveness element, the user providing a priority to achievement of each effectiveness element;
providing an indication of effectiveness elements for which critical action is required; and
automatically generating recommendations for each effectiveness element regarding critical action to be taken for improving energy management.
16. A method in accordance with claim 15 further comprising generating an estimate of potential energy savings upon achievement of the plurality of effectiveness elements.
17. A method in accordance with claim 15 wherein the method is periodically repeated to compare newly obtained results with previous results to generate a progress report.
18. A method in accordance with claim 15 wherein the element gap analysis for each effectiveness element comprises a determination of a gap between a current practice and a best practice for the effectiveness element.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to a computerized method for establishing systems for managing the energy use of an energy consuming end user. It is particularly directed toward larger end users, be they corporate (industrial/commercial) or government/institutional for whom, controlling energy consumption and costs is generally done poorly, due to lack of formal management systems. The method and system of this invention facilitate development of strategies for reducing energy consumption and monitoring progress made on an ongoing basis toward the fulfillment of strategy objectives and, ultimately, a reduction in energy consumption and cost. All of this is achieved independently of any physical system by which the utilization of energy is controlled.

2. Description of Prior Art

Conventional energy management, particularly in commercial, corporate and industrial settings, is a technical process, often carried out by systems and methods which directly control energy consumption. Such energy management systems frequently involve measurement of one or more parameters associated with energy consumption. See, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,216,623 to Barrett et al., which teaches a system for monitoring various, diverse energy characteristics of an energy consuming system, which system includes a data gathering device that accumulates data representing each of the sensed energy characteristics in real time, which data represents the magnitude of the sensed energy characteristic as well as the time at which the magnitude is sensed. The data that is accumulated for each of the sensed energy characteristics is periodically transmitted to a remote analysis station where a detailed analysis of the sensed energy characteristics is performed and a report generated containing summaries of the sensed data in the form of listings of compressed data as well as graphs such as histograms and graphs correlating different energy characteristics of the energy consuming system.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,979,122 to Davis et al. teaches a method and apparatus for monitoring power in which a power monitor samples a plurality of line cycles during an observation window to generate a plurality of voltage-current sample sets for each line cycle. The sampling of the sample sets is timed such that the voltage-current sample sets are taken at different relative time positions. The power monitor stores incoming voltage-current sample data in one memory area and concurrently analyzes sample data already stored in another memory area.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,237,507 to Chasek teaches a system for developing real time economic incentives to encourage efficient use of the resources of a regulated electric utility. The system comprises sensors that monitor out-of-doors temperatures, mean power supplied by each generator in a utility system during each hour and energy consumed by each customer per hour recorded in calendar-time, computers that are programmed with software developed from algorithms which generate demand-related hourly prices and bonus/surcharge distributions while keeping gross revenues fixed and a subsystem that feeds back pricing information to consumers. Based upon information provided by the system, such as pricing information to consumers, energy utilization efficiency is promoted.

One problem associated with such prior art systems and methods is a tendency toward stagnation. That is, the ability to improve energy utilization efficiency is limited by the operating characteristic of the monitoring and control equipment. Once the equipment has been set up to provide a given improvement in energy utilization efficiency, there is no opportunity for further improving the energy utilization efficiency of the system.

Further, the approach generally taken for energy cost control up to this invention does not impact on management systems and practices of the user. Nor does it integrate with other improvement programs that may be undertaken by the user. Prior to this invention, there has been no way to quantify the effectiveness of management processes for energy cost control and as a result there was no process possible for benchmarking energy management practices. As a result, it was difficult for users to know how well they were performing.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, it is one object of this invention to provide a method and system for energy management which is dynamic and, thus, provides the potential for continuously improving energy utilization efficiency up to an optimum efficiency level.

It is another object of this invention to provide a method and system for energy management which functions independently of any energy usage monitoring and control equipment.

It is yet another object of this invention to provide a computerized method for establishing management systems for use by energy consuming end users.

These and other objects of this invention are achieved by a computerized method for energy management comprising the steps of collecting data relating to energy usage and energy-related policies and practices in an automated data processing device, analyzing the data to derive a diagnosis of energy management effectiveness based upon analysis of a plurality of effectiveness elements, determining the relative priority for taking action for each of the effectiveness elements analysed and determining critical elements for action, generating recommendations for improving energy management effectiveness in each critical element, and benchmarking the result against those of other operations.

Diagnosis of energy management effectiveness in accordance with the method of this invention involves consideration of a plurality of effectiveness elements and a level of achievement made in each of the effectiveness elements. Thus, the diagnosis includes an indication of progress achieved with respect to each effectiveness element which, in turn, translates into a determination of actual performance with respect to goals set for each effectiveness element. The diagnosis also defines critical actions to be taken first in order to best effectuate the desired energy utilization objectives. It does this through a novel analysis process, which considers the gap between current practice and best practice in each element, and the priority level set by the user of the software. Information provided by the diagnosis can then be formulated into a series of reports by which the management of an organization can develop strategies, energy-related policies and practices for improving energy utilization efficiency. The diagnostic results can then be automatically benchmarked against other organizations on a web-site benchmarking database.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other objects and features of this invention will be better understood from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a general flow diagram for the method of this invention; and

FIG. 2 is a detail of the diagnosis portion or session of the method of this invention.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The second set of data for input into the data processing device is energy use data, which is used (along with SIC code in the energy saving database 9) in the quantification of an organization's energy savings potential 10. In addition, it also contributes to the identification of opportunities for greenhouse gas emission reductions 11. The energy use data collected includes energy sources, for example electricity, natural gas or fuel oil, the annual consumption of each type of fuel and the annual cost for each type of fuel. Also included is data regarding the percentage of renewable energy utilized which is necessary for an accurate calculation of greenhouse gas emissions 11. As conditions change, the “input report” may be modified to reflect the changes.

The next step in the method of this invention is the analysis of the data to arrive at a diagnosis of energy management effectiveness. For details of the diagnostic procedure, see FIG. 2. Data analysis (diagnostic) involves consideration of a plurality of elements of effective energy management 13, each of which elements is considered on the basis of responses by a user to queries regarding each of the elements. The queries 14, presented in simple statement form, are typically statements of organizational attitude towards energy management and activities and practices related to the management of energy use. In each case, the user provides a response indicative of the level of progress made by the organization towards implementation of each of the queried actions. There are a defined set of queried actions corresponding to each level of progress 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 towards achievement of each effective element to which the queries relate. At the outset, for each element, the initial level of achievement is the lowest level 15. The user may progress through to higher levels of achievement for each effectiveness element to the highest level 19 based upon positive user responses to the queries for each effective element, providing the user is also able to verify achievement of the requirements of a qualifying question (‘self-audit’ or ‘challenger’ question) which tests a practical example relating to the general statements at that level of progress. Thus, to move from Level 0 (15) to Level 1 (16), a user must respond in the affirmative to each of the queries for each effectiveness element for Level 0 (15). To move from Level 1 (16) to Level 2 (17), in addition to affirmatively responding to each of the queries, the user must also conduct a self-audit for verifying the achievement of the requirements thereof and, thus, confirm responses given to the queries. If the user is unable to respond affirmatively to all of the queries and verify the achievement of the requirements at any level of progress, the user does not move to the next level of progress, but rather is given the opportunity to set priorities 20 for actions to be taken to enable movement to the next level of progress. Such priorities include immediate action, action in less than 12 months and no action, as shown in FIG. 2. Responses to the queries for each effectiveness element are stored 3, thereby enabling a user to compare current levels of achievement to previous levels of achievement for a given effectiveness element 9. Upon completion of query responses for each effectiveness element 9, the effectiveness elements are subjected to a priority ranking 5. This ranking, to define ‘critical’ elements 5, is done utilizing an element gap analysis 4 (the higher priority being accorded to elements in which the gap between current practice and ‘best’ practice 19 is the largest), combined with a user priority setting defined for each effectiveness element by the user.

Upon completion of the data analysis, a diagnosis is derived for each of the effectiveness elements, which defines the level of development or achievement by the user with respect to each of the effectiveness elements, the priority given by the user to achievement of each of the effectiveness elements and an indication of effectiveness elements for which critical action 7 is required.

Examples of effectiveness elements include such things as “demonstrated corporate commitment”, “planning processes”, “awareness and training”, “energy operating budgets”, “operating procedures”, “maintenance procedures”, processes for auditing progress and the like.

As a result of the diagnosis, recommendations regarding actions to be taken for improving energy management effectiveness are generated automatically for each of the critical elements. Based upon the recommendations for improving energy management effectiveness, in accordance with one embodiment, the method of this invention further comprises generating an estimate of potehtial energy savings 10 upon achievement of all of the effectiveness elements. In accordance with another embodiment, the method of this invention further comprises generating an estimate of potential greenhouse gas emissions reductions 12 which may be achieved upon implementation of each of the effetiveness elements.

While in the foregoing specification this invention has been described in relation to certain preferred embodiments thereof, and many details have been set forth for purpose of illustration, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the invention is susceptible to additional embodiments and that certain of the details described herein can be varied considerably without departing from the basic principles of the invention.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US49791221 Feb 198918 Dec 1990Ge Fanuc Automation North America Inc.Apparatus and method for monitoring power
US499089329 Apr 19885 Feb 1991Czeslaw KilukMethod in alarm system, including recording of energy consumption
US500163020 Dec 198819 Mar 1991Wiltfong M JComputerized case history business method
US52166236 Jun 19901 Jun 1993M. T. Mcbrian, Inc.System and method for monitoring and analyzing energy characteristics
US523750721 Dec 199017 Aug 1993Chasek Norman ESystem for developing real time economic incentives to encourage efficient use of the resources of a regulated electric utility
US534746615 Jul 199113 Sep 1994The Board Of Trustees Of The University Of ArkansasMethod and apparatus for power plant simulation and optimization
US5717609 *22 Aug 199610 Feb 1998Emv Technologies, Inc.System and method for energy measurement and verification with constant baseline reference
US57451149 Mar 199528 Apr 1998Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc.Graphical display for an energy management device
US5758331 *15 Aug 199426 May 1998Clear With Computers, Inc.Computer-assisted sales system for utilities
US579421210 Apr 199611 Aug 1998Dominion Resources, Inc.System and method for providing more efficient communications between energy suppliers, energy purchasers and transportation providers as necessary for an efficient and non-discriminatory energy market
US6088688 *8 Apr 199911 Jul 2000Avista Advantage, Inc.Computerized resource accounting methods and systems, computerized utility management methods and systems, multi-user utility management methods and systems, and energy-consumption-based tracking methods and systems
US6122603 *10 Jun 199819 Sep 2000Powerweb, Inc.Multi-utility energy control system with dashboard
US6178362 *24 Sep 199823 Jan 2001Silicon Energy Corp.Energy management system and method
US6269624 *27 Apr 19997 Aug 2001Asea Brown Boveri AgMethod of operating a power plant with recycled CO2
Non-Patent Citations
Reference
1 *Bartos, Power Management: Helps your Plant "Live Long and Prosper", Dec. 1998, Control Engineering, vol. 45 Issue 15, pp. 53-60.
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6879884 *10 Mar 200412 Apr 2005Seiko Epson CorporationEnergy evaluation support system, program, information storage medium, and energy evaluation support method
US719106720 May 200513 Mar 2007Wood Group Esp, Inc.System and method of selecting a motor for a wellbore
US7219069 *4 May 200115 May 2007Schlumberger Resource Management Services, Inc.System and method for creating dynamic facility models with data normalization as attributes change over time
US7305353 *1 Mar 20014 Dec 2007Charles Schwab Co., Inc.System and method for forecasting tax effects of financial transactions
US74409064 Sep 200121 Oct 2008Accenture Global Services GmbhIdentification, categorization, and integration of unplanned maintenance, repair and overhaul work on mechanical equipment
US74577624 Sep 200125 Nov 2008Accenture Global Services GmbhOptimization of management of maintenance, repair and overhaul of equipment in a specified time window
US74577634 Sep 200125 Nov 2008Accenture Global Services GmbhPredictive maintenance system
US74610084 Sep 20012 Dec 2008Accenture Global Services GmbhPlanning and scheduling modification of a configuration
US75027444 Sep 200110 Mar 2009Accenture LlpPerforming predictive maintenance based on a predictive maintenance target
US78170504 Jun 200819 Oct 2010U.E. Systems Inc.Ultrasonic gas leak detector with an electrical power loss and carbon footprint output
US781827018 Jan 200619 Oct 2010Carey Margaret MMethod and system for tracking and budgeting energy usage
US789504714 Jan 200922 Feb 2011Accenture Global Services LimitedComputerized predictive maintenance system and method
US798710821 Jul 200626 Jul 2011Accenture Global Services LimitedManaging maintenance for an item of equipment
US8266066 *4 Sep 200111 Sep 2012Accenture Global Services LimitedMaintenance, repair and overhaul management
US832118724 Apr 200927 Nov 2012Rockwell Automation Technologies, Inc.Process simulation utilizing component-specific consumption data
US842878513 Nov 200823 Apr 2013Rodney M. BoucherEnterprise energy automation
US8571909 *15 Aug 201229 Oct 2013Roundhouse One LlcBusiness intelligence system and method utilizing multidimensional analysis of a plurality of transformed and scaled data streams
US864517423 Apr 20104 Feb 2014Ca, Inc.System and method for managing stakeholder impact on sustainability for an organization
US86556985 Jun 200718 Feb 2014Accenture Global Services LimitedPerformance-based logistics for aerospace and defense programs
US867096220 Nov 201211 Mar 2014Rockwell Automation Technologies, Inc.Process simulation utilizing component-specific consumption data
US871918528 Sep 20106 May 2014Mc Energy, Inc.Method and system for tracking and budgeting energy usage
US8731732 *24 Feb 200920 May 2014Stanley KleinMethods and system to manage variability in production of renewable energy
US87381908 Jan 201027 May 2014Rockwell Automation Technologies, Inc.Industrial control energy object
US876875023 Apr 20101 Jul 2014Ca, Inc.System and method for aligning projects with objectives of an organization
US87883129 Sep 200822 Jul 2014Accenture Global Services LimitedIdentification, categorization, and integration of unplanned maintenance, repair and overhaul work on mechanical equipment
US20090216387 *24 Feb 200927 Aug 2009Open Secure Energy Control Systems, LlcMethods and system to manage variability in production of renewable energy
US20100217631 *23 Feb 200926 Aug 2010International Business Machines CorporationConservation modeling engine framework
US20100274611 *24 Apr 200928 Oct 2010Rockwell Automation Technologies, Inc.Discrete resource management
US20110060615 *23 Apr 201010 Mar 2011Computer Associates Think, Inc.System and Method for Managing Assessments for an Organization
US20110119113 *20 Aug 201019 May 2011Hara Software, Inc.Best Practices for Emission and Energy Management
US20130046570 *15 Aug 201221 Feb 2013Mark Raymond MillerMultidimensional digital platform for building integration and analysis
US20130096988 *5 Oct 201218 Apr 2013Mastercard International, Inc.Nomination engine
DE102009025114A111 Jun 200916 Dec 2010Alexander GruberDevice for controlling power supply of electric consumers connected with power supply over socket, has switchable outlet with switching condition connected with power supply
EP2345991A1 *19 Oct 200920 Jul 2011Omron CorporationAmount-of-room-for-improvement calculation apparatus, method for controlling same, and amount-of-room-for-improvement calculation program
Classifications
U.S. Classification705/7.39, 705/412, 702/188, 702/62, 700/291, 705/7.38
International ClassificationG01R21/133, G06Q10/00
Cooperative ClassificationG01R21/133, G06Q10/06393, G06Q10/10, G06Q50/06, G06Q10/0639
European ClassificationG06Q10/10, G06Q50/06, G06Q10/06393, G06Q10/0639, G01R21/133
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
29 Aug 2011FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8
16 Sep 2009ASAssignment
Owner name: ENERGETICS PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ENVINTA/ENERGETICS GROUP;REEL/FRAME:023234/0905
Effective date: 20090915
31 Aug 2007FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
28 Feb 2006CCCertificate of correction
2 Jan 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: ENVINTA/ENERGETICS GROUP, AUSTRALIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:JUTSEN, JONATHAN;REEL/FRAME:014848/0921
Effective date: 20031217
Owner name: ENVINTA/ENERGETICS GROUP LEVEL 6, 148 PACIFIC HIGH
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:JUTSEN, JONATHAN /AR;REEL/FRAME:014848/0921